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While the media was obsessing about COVID-19, Japanese scientists have been working to smell out cancer, slow age-related illnesses, bring tears to dry eyes — and cure male-pattern baldness. Read on:

Japanese scientists have identified stem cells vital for hair regeneration, aiming to launch clinical research to apply those cells to therapy for male-pattern baldness.
 | GETTY IMAGES
Japanese scientists have identified stem cells vital for hair regeneration, aiming to launch clinical research to apply those cells to therapy for male-pattern baldness. | GETTY IMAGES
  • Researchers from Japanese universities have discovered a medical agent capable of only removing senescent cells, which can cause aging-related diseases such as arteriosclerosis and diabetes. The breakthrough holds out the promise of slowing the advance of diseases associated with old age.
  • Osaka University researchers have succeeded in creating conjunctival cells — which are key to producing tears — from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Meanwhile, down the road in Kobe, a hospital performed the first clinical trial of a transplant of iPS photoreceptor cells to treat pigmentary retinal degeneration.
  • Scientists with the Riken institute have identified stem cells vital for hair regeneration, aiming to launch clinical research to apply those cells to therapy for male-pattern baldness. The team plans to culture hair follicles taken from those with the condition, then implant the cultured cells back in their heads.

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